Seneca Master (Italian, Bologna, active
Two Medallions from the Border of a Latin Bible:
The Sixth Day of Creation and The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise
Tempera on vellum
The Jeanne Miles Blackburn Collection [Cat. nos. 10-11]
As revealed by their subjects and blank versos (back or reverse sides), these medallions were undoubtedly excised from a Genesis page in a large lectern Bible. Typically, such medallions would have appeared in conjunction with a large-scale historiated initial "I" running the full length of the text and introducing the text of the book of Genesis: In principio creativit Deus caelum et terram (In the beginning God created heaven and earth). Such schemes of page layout and decoration were common features of Bibles produced in Bolognese workshops and destined for wealthy religious institutions of the Emilian region, for which Bologna was the artistic and intellectual center.